Lady Bison softball sweeps day one at FGCU
Friday, March 29, 2013
By Mark McGee
Lady Bison softball sweeps day one at FGCU

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team must have borrowed a broom from the Bisons basketball team.

Friday night at Florida Gulf Coast the Lady Bisons swept a doubleheader winning game one 5-3 and game two 6-1. The losses were the first for FGCU in the Atlantic Sun this season. The LU victory in game one ended a nine-game winning streak for the Eagles. It also stopped FGCU’s home winning streak at 11.

“I want them to take this feeling and gain so much confidence from it,” LU coach Kristin Ryman said. “I want them to know that this is the way we can play every time out.

“We put ourselves right back in the mix of things by winning two. I am really proud of the effort and the intensity all the way through.”

The wins lifted the Lady Bisons to 16-16 overall, 5-6 in the A-Sun. FGCU falls to 24-11, 5-2 in the conference. The Lady Bisons will be seeking a sweep of the series Saturday at 11 a.m.

“It feels good to put it all together,” Ryman said. “It has been awhile since we have really been clicking on all cylinders. And we did it against a good team.

“We have a team that I feel like needs some time to continue to grow together and develop. Sometimes as coaches we get a little impatient with that process because we see the talent. We see it once or twice and then we want them to do it every time. That is part of being a young team.”

Tanner Sanders, 10-6, threw a three-hitter in game one giving up a pair of home runs to Chelsea Zgrabik and a double to Mariah Fernandez. Sanders walked five and struck out four in 6.1 innings. Heather Parker threw the final two outs to get the Lady Bisons out of a bases loaded jam.

“Tanner has to be very smart with her pitches,” Ryman said. “Zgrabik is a really great hitter. But Tanner is the type of pitcher who can give up one big hit and still find a way to keep herself in a game. Her success is going to come down to limiting those big hits and limiting her walks.”

Parker, 5-8, returned in game two and threw a complete game. She scattered six hits, walked three and struck out four.

“Heather came in and really held off a key part of the lineup in game one,” Ryman said. “In game two she did a great job of limiting the damage. She spread out the hits.”

In game one Brittany Elmore had three of the 10 hits for the Lady Bisons including an RBI-triple to left field in the fifth inning. She has hit safely in her last eight games, the longest streak for the Lady Bisons this season.

Heather Montgomery connected for a pair of hits, one a double. Mickey Bell also had two hits. Her two-RBI single in the seventh was the highlight of the decisive three-run rally.

The Lady Bisons fell behind 1-0 in the nightcap, but scored two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh. Bridgette Begle’s triple to right center in the seventh drove home two runs. Kristen Sturdivant had a double and a single. The Lady Bisons finished with seven hits in game two.

“We told the team after both games that any time they are doing their jobs as hitters and continuing to score runs it is taking the pressure off of our pitchers,” Ryman said. “We did a much better job of keeping the pressure on FGCU in both games.

“In the first game it was great to see that fight from us in the seventh inning. I think that propelled us into the second game. We kept fighting in game two and scored several runs late again. We want to get the lead first, but if we don’t, we have to realize we have good enough hitters that the game isn’t over for us.”